Best Cardio for Bad Knees And How to Exercise With Bad Knees

When your knees hurt, your workout routine comes to a standstill: that’s what most of us have been made to believe. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. So if you are wondering how to exercise with bad knees don’t worry. There are tons of exercises that one can do even if they have bad knees. In this post, I am going to take you through best cardio for bad knees. These are simple exercises that you can do alone. They’re good at relieving pain and work for people with the following knee problems.

Take a look at every one of them.


The Treadmill is another very good choice for people who want the best exercise equipment for bad knees. It allows you to walk at a controlled pace so that you regulate the workout and manage the pain too.

The Treadmill is highly efficient because the conveyor belt provides cushioning. The cushioning allows you to enjoy a softer touch as you walk.


Swimming is a great cardio workout in case you have knee pain. The water will keep your entire body afloat. By doing so, it removes the weight off the remaining part of your body and allows you to work out your cardio.

Consequently, as you take the reflexes by kicking the water, the workout strengthens the muscles around your legs especially those that support your knees.

In case you want to maximize the knee workout from your swimming, you should focus on freestyle and backstroke movements. Even so, you don’t have to stop there; you can also try the following.

Reverse Kicking by wrapping both your arms around the kick board, flipping over on your back and then kicking the water. While doing that, make sure you bring the knees high up with each kick as if marching.

Elliptical Trainer

Since Elliptical Trainer is a no impact but weight-bearing workout, it is indeed a good option to try. While working out on an elliptical trainer, you will notice less or zero impact on the joint. Well, that’s true.

However, since the movement on an elliptical allows you easily strengthen your quads and hamstrings it will eventually have an impact. Do it cautiously. And if you find out it is aggravating the knee you can skip it and try this next option.

You may like our ice machine for knee, Best ice packs for knees, knee pain at night reviews.

The Rowing Machine

The other best exercise equipment for bad knees is the rowing machine. It is a great option for people of all ages. The movement from the machine is ideal and will work both your quads and the hamstrings. In turn it will help in building strong knees.

Even so, the movement from this equipment is usually repetitive. Due to this, it could either tone down the pain or worsen it a little. So don’t push yourself so hard. Instead, start easy and if the body responds well amp the temp a little more. With time you will be able to catch up and develop strong knee muscles.

At Home Best Cardio  For Bad Knee Exercises

I know that we can’t all afford the best workout equipment for bad knees. So probably you are still wondering how to exercise with bad knees. Don’t worry. You can still try a few body weight exercises.

Scissor Kick

Scissor kick is simple. It is a DIY exercise that will develop stronger ligaments for your knees. To perform a scissor kick here is what you should do.

  • Lie flat on the ground facing the ceiling
  • Make sure your legs are together
  • Place your arms on either side of your body

Now, keeping the forearms flat on the ground, start by lifting both your legs as they are together above the ground. Lift them about six inches and lift your shoulders about one inch. Maintain that position and spread both legs apart. Then bring them back to the original position – towards each other. Repeat the same movement for 50 reps.

Step Touches

A less complex but best cardio for bad knees is step touches. This one has more effect and will work well with bad knees.

The workout will start with simpler exercises that will intensify as it progresses. The very first move usually starts with step touches.

You will simply step out on either right or left while taking your arms out to the sides. Follow it by the remaining foot in and then take the foot back to where you just removed it. Now keep stepping to the right and left while widening the steps.

Repeat for 50 seconds.

Ball Knee Lifts

Now for a change on your best cardio exercises for bad knees grab a ball. A 4 to 8 lbs range ball weight would be cool.

Hold the ball with both hands and then march. Hold the ball straight above your head and as you bring your right knee up bring the ball down. Let the ball and the knee touch in the middle of the way.

Lower your leg, take the ball back above your head, and repeat with left knee. Now keep alternating the sides for up to 60 seconds.

TIP: Remember to keep the ball at the chest level as you march and speed up the exercise for more intensity.

Straight Leg Kicks

While holding the ball, you can also do straight leg kicks. For this set you don’t need to bend your knee but rather bring your legs up as if you are kicking the ball. While doing so, keep your legs straight.

Kick the right leg forward then left while you alternate the ball on each leg that kicks. Keep the ball at chest level and speed up to pick intensity.


Now you know how to exercise with bad knees. I hope you have found the post helpful and that you can share the tips with your loved ones too. Ensure that you work out cautiously so that you don’t aggravate the knee condition. participates in the Amazon Associates Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. This means that whenever you buy a product on Amazon from a link on here, we get a small percentage of its price.